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October 21, 2019

Restaurant kitchen setup: How to set up a commercial kitchen for small restaurant in India?

Restaurant kitchen setup in India

When people hear about restaurant kitchen setup, few things that cross their mind are commercial kitchen equipment, such as gas ranges, grills, fryers, and refrigerators, and sometimes, even a picture of chefs cooking specials, running back and forth round the clock to get the dishes ready, and ultimately, delighting their customers. However, restaurant kitchen setup for small restaurants or big hotels goes way beyond equipment and customer satisfaction.

Kitchen is the heart of your restaurant/franchise, because this is where the most important aspect of your restaurant business is being taken care of: the food that keeps your customers coming back and your restaurant on a roll. An elegant commercial kitchen setup that optimizes entire space and includes necessary restaurant equipment is a must for successfully operating restaurant/franchise business. Recently, restaurant and food service industry has begun implementing the latest technological trends, such as kitchen display system, wherein digital integration improvises kitchen workflow. In contrast, poorly planned kitchen setup may lead to slow production, unhappy kitchen staff, and dissatisfied customers.

Therefore, a lot should be considered while designing restaurant kitchen setup for small restaurants or 5-star hotels.

Involve your chefs and kitchen staff

Famous chef Jet Tila once mentioned, “No input from chefs means inappropriate equipment and kitchen space, ultimately, wrong kitchen flow.” Your chefs and other kitchen staff are the ones going to be in a kitchen for hours together. Thus, it is crucial to design a restaurant kitchen setup efficiently by considering their needs for they can aptly utilize the kitchen setup, delivering excellence to customers.

What’s on the menu?

In a restaurant kitchen setup in India, you won’t know what you need if you don’t know what to serve. Knowing your menu is very important while designing restaurant kitchen setup and procuring required equipment, utensils, and cutlery. Prior to setting up a restaurant kitchen, make a list of your menu and equipment needed for each of them. This information helps in effective commercial kitchen setup and layout designing.

“Do I really need that?”

Be it a small restaurant or a 1000-sq ft area setup, standard restaurant-kitchen-to-dining-area ratio is 60:40 in the favor of dining area. At times, restaurants require more space for dining, because this area generates revenue. Thus, 40% of the space should be properly utilized for kitchen setup and prep areas. In this regard, cluttering your kitchen with all sorts of fancy kitchen equipment is surely not an option. Considering the space required for entire staff and their workflow, machinery, prep stations, etc., while buying equipment for your commercial restaurant setup, don’t forget to question yourself, “Do I really need that?”

Compliance with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Operated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, India, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body that has declared standard guidelines and license needs for running a restaurant. Being compliant with the national and state-level guidelines of such regulatory bodies is an absolute must for running restaurant business or franchise business in India. The FSSAI guidelines cover procuring raw materials and clean water; preparations and processing; transportation, handling, and storage of food; personal hygiene; equipment and utensils; and waste disposal and pest control. Other essential factors should be considered while designing restaurant kitchen setup for small restaurants:

Kitchen setup cost for restaurants

As we mentioned before, lots should be considered while designing kitchen setup for small restaurant. The most important factor of the restaurant business establishment is budget, and more importantly, kitchen setup cost for restaurants. Kitchen setup cost for restaurants varies depending on restaurant area. Kitchen equipment, food and raw materials costs, restaurant kitchen interiors, menu, and chefs and kitchen staff play a critical role in deciding kitchen setup cost for restaurants. In India, this kitchen setup cost for restaurants ranges from Rs. 5 lacs to Rs. 15 lacs depending on the budget, area, and cuisine served.

Standard restaurant kitchen setup and layout

The following points should be thoroughly planned in a restaurant kitchen setup for small restaurant: Flexibility and space efficiency, simplicity, workflow of the kitchen, hygiene and food safety, staff training and their supervision, ventilation and ample light, commercial kitchen equipment, and technology.

Commercial restaurant kitchen setup in India is laid out mainly for creating smooth traffic and defined workstations with uninterrupted interactions. Ideally, paths of various kitchen staffs should not overlap or cross, e.g., staff carrying used utensils should not cross the one delivering dishes to customers. Moreover, there should be two doors to a restaurant kitchen setup; one for traffic coming in and another for that going out.

Setting up a restaurant kitchen is challenging for any restaurant in India; it demands thoughtful planning, patience, and effort. Nevertheless, a well-built restaurant kitchen setup proffers your chefs and kitchen staff—and ultimately, you as an owner—enough confidence to successfully and flawlessly run a restaurant business.